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January 2013 Archives

We have a winner: The Song That Changed Your Life

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories of "The Song That Changed Your Life" with us. Our readers Jane Silcott and Jason Schneider were impressed by so many great stories...

The Song That Changed Your Life: Meet the winner

We talk to the winner of The Song That Changed Your Life writing challenge, Lyle Burwell of Ontario, about his winning story, She Whispered....

Meet the reader: Jason Schneider

Jason Schneider is a music journalist and assistant editor at Exclaim! magazine whose obsession with a song led him to co-write a book. He is also one of two readers who...

Meet the reader: Jane Silcott

Jane Silcott is an essayist, a teacher, and the writer of "odd" poems and "odder" stories. She is also one of two readers who read all of the submissions to our...

The Song That Changed Your Life: Finalists

We kicked off 2013 with a writing challenge, asking you to share personal stories about a pivotal moment in your life and the music that evokes it....

Andrew Kaufman vs. Cathy Marie Buchanan: Is it better to write with or without music?

We've teamed up with The Next Chapter to present The Canada Writes Literary Smackdowns, an essay series in which authors sound off on various writing topics. No writers were injured in the making...

The Last Time I Saw Him By Deborah Whelan

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Yolanda by Christopher Levan

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Cashing In by Richard Borek

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

T-shirt by Taylor Wilson

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

In the Mood by Irena Szpak

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

She Whispered by Lyle Burwell

This story won for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Leaving on a Jet Plane by Shell Ledrew

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Nausicaa Requiem by Isaac Yuen

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Background Noise by Judith Ouellette-Bezaire

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Layla by Ann Sarich

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

The Jimi Hendrix experience by Bruce LeFevre

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Helpless by Debra McGrath

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Mad Rush by Cristina Rizzuto

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Yodeling by Lana Willocks

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

That Friday by Stephen Barredo

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Engelbert by Elaine McDivitt

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Being Big by Stephanie Hall

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Morrissey by David Burga

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Congregations by Carla Gadula

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Cat's in the Cradle by Elizabeth Booth

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

The Reason by Carmen Vickery

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Bach's Concerto No. 5 by David Waltner-Toews

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

The Weakerthans by Greg Pratt

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

The Age of Aquarius by Irene Fantopoulos

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Three Songs by Susan Borgersen

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Freedom and Bruce Springsteen by Terri Favro

This story is on the shortlist for The Song That Changed Your Life challenge. ...

Bonanza! by Johanna Zomers

Immigrants to Canada, we were rural pioneers in a challenging landscape. Alone at the end of a tiny rural road, without hydro, running water, radio, telephone or television, we were...

By Steven Toth

I need my hit again. I can’t wait for the needle to do its job. Carefully, I lift the tone arm from the vinyl before the mechanism can kick in...

By John Hansen

In the early days of 1990, I was newly returned to Canada from youth exchange stint to Senegal with Canada World Youth. After a number of debriefings and reunions with...

Dude Looks Like a Lady by Pat Mills

I never liked rock music. I was too busy repressing my secret love of dance music to do anything else, but it was 1990, and I was determined to be...

Incorrect thoughts by Taras Grescoe

As part of The Song That Changed Your Life series, we asked writers from across the country to tell us which song or piece of music is important to them. When Taras Grescoe...

Lynne Bowen: Write what you can learn

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail: Exploring cultural and social content in personal stories

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

The Bullet and the Shrapnel by Andreas Dolberg

I was living the dream of a carefree life, looking to expand my horizons.  There was no better way than by connecting with a motley group of guys from different...

Snowbird by Henry Adam Svec

The first time Gene MacLellan’s “Snowbird” kicked my ass was when I heard the late songwriter’s daughter, Catherine, perform it at a folk club in London, Ontario. I knew Anne...

Are you on fire from the years? by Zoe Whittall

As part of The Song That Changed Your Life series, we asked writers from across the country to tell us which song or piece of music is important to them. In her story,...

David Waltner-Toews: Get the facts and create a good story to explain them!

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

By Maggie Panko

In his old Ford, I push off my jeans. He turns on to the highway, making dragging panty hose over one knee rough.  We hit a traffic jam.  Luckily the...

George Stroumboulopoulos: Welcome to my nightmare

George Stroumboulopoulos talks to Canada Writes about his mother, Alice Cooper, and what gets him through the night.  ...

Christin Geall: Using the Retrospective Narrator in Nonfiction

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

Lost and found by Dawn Ruddick

It was 1977. I was 7, she was 58, and man, did we have the music in us.She bought me my first record player, and supplied all the 45s; gems...

Wish you were here by Craille Maguire Gillies

As part of The Song That Changed Your Life series, we asked writers from across the country (and those abroad) to tell us which song or piece of music is important to...

By Michael Barton

On an evening back in 1982, I went to see Bruce Cockburn at the University of Alberta after a friend that knew I was a fan had informed me that...

Myrna Kostash: Outline!

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

CNFC's Myrna Kostash on writing creative nonfiction

Myrna Kostash is the president of the  Creative Nonfiction Collective (CNFC).  She tells us about discovering the "New Journalism" in the 1970s, how she found her voice as a writer, and what...

Revisiting “The Way Forward”

Last summer Canada Writes presented an original series by some of the country's leading and emerging Aboriginal writers. “The Way Forward” was part of the CBC’s groundbreaking “8th Fire” project...

Andreas Schroeder: "Creative" doesn't mean making it up

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

How Bach Saved My Soul by David Waltner-Toews

During my teenage years in Winnipeg, rock music (and even some folk music) was not allowed in our Mennonite Brethren home. To still my soul, I spent many hours lying face-down...

Time, The Magical Musical Box by Thomas Bauer

For years my favorite music memory was dancing on the dining room table to ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band’. The year was 1969, and the room full of father’s...

By Lita Bablitz

So you want to know the song that changed my life? There is such deliciousness in the challenge of deciding. Whose life does not have a soundtrack?I was born in...

Myrl Coulter: Go for the concrete

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

An aesthetic compass by Kevin Chong

As part of The Song That Changed Your Life series, we asked writers from across the country to tell us which song or piece of music is important to them. The first in...

The Song That Changed Your Life: Meet your judge

We're delighted to introduce you to the judge of our "The Song That Changed Your Life" challenge:  musician and writer Dave Bidini....

Life is a Song, Love is the Music by Pamela Dillon

October - is my favourite month of the year. It brings the glorious changes of colour as the trees shed their leaves, the cooler air and occasional thunderstorm, reminders of...

This Flight Tonight by Star Spider

'Look out the left the captain said...'It was the dead of night, on the first night I arrived in that distant land.  Far away from everything I knew.  Shrouded in...

Ted Barris: If it was a dark and stormy night, show me!

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

Monica Meneghetti: The "you" in memoir

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

Kitchen Serenade by Lawrence Larouche

At the age of twenty-one Eva came to Canada from Austria to find and marry Elvis Presley. Unfortunately she took a wrong turn and ended up sharing an apartment with...

"Becoming Bowie," from 1982 by Jian Ghomeshi

Today is David Bowie's birthday and our colleagues at CBC Music have created a little gift for Bowie fans. And check out Jian Ghomeshi's Top 10 Bowie albums. Here on Canada Writes, as...

by Raymond Maher

I was a farm boy and cut my teeth on country music. Besides a steady diet of country songs, the radio featured a big slice of pop music. I never...

David Leach: What does it mean now?

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. ...

More from: Writing Tips

Julija Sukys: Get up and go somewhere

During the month of January we will be running creative nonfiction writing tips from members of the Creative Nonfiction Collective to give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition. The first...

More from: Writing Tips

Call for submissions: The Song That Changed Your Life

UPDATE: THE CHALLENGE IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who participated! Stay tuned to Canada Writes for selections of the top stories and, of course, to find out who is going...

The music of home by Maria Schamis Turner

Canada Writes editor Maria Schamis Turner kicks off The song that changed your life writing challenge with her piece on the music of her childhood. Tell us about the song or...

New Year's resolutions from some of our favourite Canadian authors

To ring in the New Year, we asked some of our favourite writers from across the country to tell us what their writing resolutions are for 2013....

Girls Versus Janitor by Katrina Johnston

To celebrate the holidays and give you inspiration for our current creative nonfiction competition, we are presenting seven of our favourite stories from last year's True Winter Tales challenge. In today's story,...